Prep golf: Central Valley’s Kami Twining, Gonzaga Prep’s Nate Plaster claim District 8 4A titles
The Greater Spokane League regular season didn’t go quite as planned for Central Valley’s Kami Twining and Gonzaga Prep’s Nate Plaster.
They weren’t at the top of their games, whether it was battling injury or a balky putter, in five GSL matches, though Twining fired a 68 at Downriver and Plaster shot a 70 last week at Deer Park.
The two stayed the course and were rewarded with District 8 4A individual titles Tuesday at MeadowWood.
Twining followed up Monday’s 74 with a 73 to win the girls tournament by five shots over Lewis and Clark’s Darby Rickel, the first-round leader, and by six over Mead’s Cami Culp, the GSL player of the year.
Mead, which trailed by four after the opening round, rallied past LC to win the team title. The Panthers, Tigers and third-place Pasco earned berths to the state tournament next week at Hangman Valley.
Plaster cruised on the boys side with a two-day total of 7-under 137. Mead senior Zane Mularski closed with a 71 to finish nine shots behind Plaster.
Defending state champion G-Prep shot 7-over 583, followed by CV’s 595 and Mead’s 614. Those three teams qualified for state next week at Qualchan.
Twining lives a few minutes away from MeadowWood and she’s spent countless hours at the course. Her comfort level was obvious, but she had to scrap for the 73.
“It was more of a fighting round, a lot more bogeys, but I made up for them with birdies on the next hole,” said Twining, who finished more than an hour before the final groups. “I just play my own game and focus on that. If they beat you, they beat you.”
Twining figures to be in the mix at state.
“This was awesome, because I didn’t do very well in the GSL tournaments,” she said. “It’s good to come back. My game wasn’t on point, but finally putts are starting to roll in and shots are going my way.”
GSL regular-season champion Mead bettered its first-round score by nine strokes while LC shot 336, 11 shots higher. It was a team effort by the Panthers as Culp fired a 74, Bloom sisters Charlotte and Libby finished in the top 10 and freshman Taylor Mularski came through with an 81.
“She is so determined to break 40 (for nine holes),” Mead coach Keith Ross said of Mularski. “She had to make bogey on No. 9 last weekend at Kalispel to shoot 39 and she three-putted for a double. She’s like, ‘I can’t break 40, I can’t break 40.’
“She shoots 41-40 (Tuesday), which is still not breaking 40, but it’s her personal best. I think she’s broke 90 three times and 81 at MeadowWood is exceptional.”
Plaster was rarely in trouble either day with one bogey in 36 holes. He opened with a 67 and his closing 70 featured a handful of putts that lipped out or burned the edges.
He nearly aced the par-3 sixth before knocking in a 3-foot birdie putt. He had two 10-foot eagle putts on par 5s that resulted in birdies. The longest putt he holed was a 5-footer for par on No. 17.
“That’s basically how it’s been the whole year,” said Plaster, who missed a couple of events with a hip strain and another to play in an AJGA tournament in Arizona. “I’ve been hitting the ball the best I’ve ever hit it. I don’t really miss a lot of greens. I felt like I had a look (for birdie) on nearly every hole.”
That’s how it looked to coach Dennis Dougherty, too.
“When he strikes the ball, it’s different. It sounds different,” Dougherty said. “It’s just a pure golf swing, and when he has the putter going it’s really pretty amazing.”
District 8 3A
Mt. Spokane claimed the district boys championship by eight shots over Kamiakin at Sun Willows in Pasco. Both teams advance to state next week.
Mt. Spokane sophomore Cole Oster captured the individual title with rounds of 74 and 73. He edged Shadle Park’s Sam Pauly by two strokes and Wildcats teammate Landon Spencer by four.
5A: Coeur d’Alene finished fifth with a two-day total of 638, six shots in front of sixth-place Lake City at Highland Golf Course in Pocatello. Rocky Mountain (600) won its fourth consecutive title.
Ryan Chapman paced the Timberwolves at 6-over 150 to earn a share of fourth place. Brayden Ogle led the Vikings at 11-over 155.
Lake City’s girls placed fourth. Kyla Currie led the way, tying for sixth with rounds of 78 and 83. CdA’s Martina Hicks finished 13th.
4A: Lakeland’s boys took sixth place with a score of 647 at Twin Falls Golf Course. Ashton Waddington (151) was the Hawks’ top finisher in 13th place.
Moscow’s Makena Rauch came up just short in her bid for a girls individual title. She tied for first at 153, but lost to Twin Falls’ Brinlee Stotts in a playoff. Sandpoint’s girls (733) finished third. Hattie Larson took ninth.
3A: Kat Rauenhorst finished took second, helping the Kellogg girls to a fourth-place finish at Canyon Springs in Twin Falls.
Kellogg’s boys finished third, led by Archie Rauenhorst (164) in seventh individually.
2A: The St. Maries boys finished 10th at River’s Edge in Burley. Clark Fork’s Cole Rueter (155) tied for fifth. Mia Pakootas tied for 14th to lift Lakeside’s girls to a sixth-place finish.